Ken Walker

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I too, obviously, was one of the more highly regarded members of the intake of 1957 as I was invited to spend an additional year in fourth year after concentrating solely on sport and girls (or, was it girls and sport) when I did it for the first time with you lot. I didn't think it was such a bad thing back then, as it did allow me to captain the First XI which, I thought at the time, was a really big deal. However, no doubt George Cummins' reincarnation is still muttering that "it's the last year of your working life you miss out on, not the first".

Anyway, Graham Birse, Tim Ford and I all successfully qualified for RMC Duntroon, although, unfortunately, fate played a hand with Graham Birse and he failed to matriculate and went to Portsea, with Bill Moore, instead. He subsequently went to Vietnam where he was killed.

During the first year at RMC I hurt my back and eventually was discharged medically unfit for the remainder of the year, with a view to returning the following year to start again. This was a particularly unattractive proposition ( having RMC classmates a year ahead of you was quite different from the similar experience at NHBHS) so I sought the advice of the learned Shirley Temple. He lined me up with interviews at both CSR and IBM and, on the advice of a mate's father who was a heavy at Colgate Palmolive at the time, I accepted a job with IBM.

I have been in the IT&T industry (as it is now called) ever since. After four years at IBM I spent five years as the Data Processing Manager of a Pharmaceutical Market Research company in Crows Nest. This company was taken over by an international company in the same field and, a while after I left, Chris Wills joined and, to my knowledge, he was there for quite some time. I don't recognise the name of the company he is with now but I wouldn't be surprised if it were connected in some way to the aforementioned one he joined nearly thirty years ago.

Two industry colleagues invited me to join them in our own business and we had ten wonderful years although it was tough to begin with. I even had to be a part time cabbie for six months or so to keep the personal cashflow going. I then spent a few years with a couple of multinationals until, in 1990, the company I was with sent me to Canberra to open a branch there. I have been here ever since, apart from most of 1999 when, at the beginning of which, I was transferred back to Sydney. However, at the end of 1999, Optus made me an impossible to refuse offer to return to Canberra to manage their Defence Business Unit.

I married Julie in 1968 and have a son, Scott who is 28, from that union. We divorced in 1986 and I married Carolyn in 1989. We are still very happily together and have a daughter, Courtenay who is eight and in Year 2 at Canberra Girls Grammar so, like a few I have noticed, I will be staying young and working until well into my seventies.

While I played Rugby with Northern Suburbs with quite a few NHBHS Old Boys such as Harkness, Cohen, Melnikoff?, Henry (Peter, that is, not Arthur), Sattler, Massey (he probably was too young for most of you to remember), etc., it was only for a couple of years. However, I did play grade cricket with Gordon in two "stints" which were split by ten years at Lindfield in the Municipal & Shires competition where I captained Mark Taylor for 2 of those years. (I'm sure he'd tell you I taught him everything he knows). These days my sporting activities are restricted to golf at the beautiful Royal Canberra Golf Club (although I have played much too infrequently this year) and the odd bit of snow skiing. Mind you, I still get the heart rate pumping furiously when, as a foundation member, I go to every home game the ACT Brumbies play.

Unfortunately, my contact these days with NHBHS Old Boys is rare. I see Chris Barrie occasionally, and talk to Bob Watts by 'phone infrequently. I played tennis fairly regularly with Tim Edwards and Tony Tribe before I relocated to Canberra (eleven years ago) and I did see Tim Ford quite a bit before he was posted overseas a few years ago but, that's about it. Hopefully, the festivities in October will rectify that and old friendships will be resurrected. I look forward to it with eager anticipation.